write a book you want people to read your book. there are thousands of books in any book store. there are hundreds of thousands of books in any big library, and you got a lot of competition. the first thing you want to do, if you're an author, is to at least have somebody pick up the book. and so when i was thinking of a title issue thousand what i can title this book that would get somebody to take a peek, read the first paragraph. and i thought, well, nigger. nigger is a strange career of a trouble self-word. and i thought that would -- just think hard about words, think hard about examples, get the readers attention. that's what i was trying to do with the title.
>> now on booktv, paula broadwell and vernon loeb talk about david petraeus his military career and his impact on the wars in iraq and afghanistan. general petraeus gave the authors full access to him and his team for the book. this is about an hour. >> good evening. i'm co-owner of politics and prose, along with my wife. on the health on behalf of the entire staff, i'd like to welcome you here. before turning to our guest authors, i'd just like to say a word about an important event coming up this april. it's being called world both night, and it's an ambitious attempt to hand out 1 million
free books around the united states. you can read about how this amazing effort is being organized at sign up to get involved yourself at u.s. dot world book night.org. i have mentioned this deceiving because the deadline to sign up is tonight, so there still time after this event. and now a word about our guests this evening. paula broadwell and vernon loeb and their new book "all in: the education of general david petraeus." petraeus of course has become the most prominent u.s. military general since world war ii. and while he's already been subject to several books, paula was given unusual access to him and has brought his story up to date. as paul arrived early in the book, one of the traces most important manners, general jack
galvin, ones talk to petraeus about the concept of what galvin called the big him, which stood for individual mystique, or mythology. the idea as golfing explained is that troops need to be able to make their commanders biggest and are, to them. patton had his pistols, ridgway his grenades, grant his cigars. petraeus has stood out the abatement of the soldier scholar. intellectually, he is famous for being the lead author of the army's revised on counterinsurgency warfare. on the battlefield he is credited with turning things around in iraq following president bush's decision the end of 2006 to surge u.s. forces there. and he faced a similar challenge in afghanistan during a year of command there between the middle of 2010 and the middle of 2011.
the traces time in afghanistan is the focus of policy book. although the book has a broader sweep. pollitt incorporates lots of biographical information about petraeus, in an effort to examines what has made him so effective and influential a leader. the book grew out of paula's pursued a ph.d in public policy which involved a case study of petraeus as an example of transformational leadership and organizational innovation. as a graduate of west point and army reserve officer, paula knows the army from the inside. in her book, she takes readers into briefing rooms and command posts onto training sites and battlefields. and she was granted a number of opportunities to travel with petraeus, and even to jog with him, which as anyone who has
tried that knows that probably deserves a medal in itself. petraeus is notorious for the intensity for which he works out, and it's the same intensity he applies to just about everything he does. i might add that paula herself is no athletic slacker she's a runner in ranked number one in overall fitness in her class at west point. i also would like to note that paul is donating 20% of the proceeds of the book to team red, white and blue, an organization that works with wounded veterans using physical fitness to help them find their new normal. paula was helped in the writing of her book by very talented former colleague of mine at the "washington post," vernon loeb. vernon, who has lots of experience himself covering the military and intelligence world,
is now the post metropolitan editor. paula plans to speak about 20 to 30 minutes, and then she will take questions. if you have a question, please remember to step up and use the microphone right here in the center of the room. afterwards, paula will be happy to stay and sign books. so please silence your cell phones, and join me in welcoming paula broadwell. [applause] >> before we get started, i'd like to see how many veterans we have in the room. so i know i'm facing. first of all, thank you for all of your service, and i know we might have a few folks that belong to team red, white and blue as well but are there any folks from this veteran support organization? a couple of folks, great. thanks for coming. it's very important to take revenge of the national media platform i have right now with the book the edges became a
bestseller this week which is pretty exciting. "new york times" bestseller number six on the nonfiction list and number 13 overall. for somebody who doesn't like to write that much, it's very humbling but i have to give credit to my writing partner for helping us to get to this point. but i felt it was important to do something consequential with the attention that the media is bringing to the book, and want to call americans to go all in as well to support our wounded warriors as they come back from these theaters are we owe it to them and i think it's our turn. so i would like to do you a little bit about how i came to write the book, and then we will bring us some characters that are actually in the book that are in the room and we'll talk about their adventure. then i would like to share stories about general david petraeus and is developing. can everybody hear okay in the back? all right. in 2006 general david petraeus was the command at fort leavenworth, and he was helping to raise the counterinsurgency manual. he added 30 times the first
chapter so he likes the attention to detail. but he came to harvard university where i was a graduate student and wanted to speak to students about the merits of counterinsurgency approach to funding the iraq war which were losing at the time. he invited a group of veterans, of young students, soldiers, scholars if you will to meet with him after his presentation. i went up to him and said i'm writing my thesis on negotiate with terrorists and i think it could help your team win and you should really read it. he was kind enough to indulge me and take the paper and give me his business card. as he does with a lot of young soldiers dollars. he's very open-minded about taking addition anyone and everyone, and, in fact, uses what he calls and what is long been known as direct telescoping to reach out to those in different sectors and fields to gather ideas. so we kept in touch via e-mail for a couple of years, and i was still a graduate student. three years later it i reached
out to him and asked if he would speak to the group of students at harvard who were trying to find ways to galvanize greater cooperation amongst the intelligence community, the military and other national security organizations that we as midgrade field officers, if you will, were frustrated seeing a lack of cooperation. he agreed to do a video teleconference from baghdad. it's just after the surge of started to achieve some success in iraq. he opened his presentation with a quote from a roman philosoph philosopher. block is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. and i feel like that has been exemplary of his life and in my instance in this book. it really captures the feeling if i got this opportunity to write the book. i'll go into that more in a bit. so fast forward again, the surge was as we all know instrumental, and doug may aren't you all a bit of wisdom but the surge compliment i think the iraqis frustration with insurgency in iraq.
and basically we were able to start to draw our forces down. petraeus came back to centcom in 2008, and i was intrigued by how this individual had galvanize organizational transformation in the army, have shaped this new doctrine which was kind of old doctor and repackaged them but brought this new doctrine, shape the organization of our units that were going to work, and i was looking at this from a management perspective. how does an insider effect transformational organizational transformation? and i asked him if i did use him as a case study in my doctoral dissertation, and he agreed. i begin to interview him the e-mail for approximately a year and a half. and we had a chance to go for a run, and i asked if i could interview him on the run. and our broader tape-recorded. this was a test. it's in the preface of the book. it basically shows i think, i
think why i gained rapport with them. i could keep up with them on the run and would end up getting down to a six minute mile pace. needless to say i didn't transcribe the interview. it did would turn out. is a bunch of heavy breathing. so we continued that enough correspondence and i was writing incorporating his thoughts. i was able to take advantage of my tribe, the military and my classmates at west point, for them were his age. several other aides have been in my company at west point, and we're great informers, needless to say. i think it will boil to him but they trusted me less able to get a lot of great axis. i got to know his family and his mentors. they should correspondence he had exchanged with him over three or four decades. i could see lieutenant david petraeus, captain david petraeus riding to general jack galvin and talking about in 1978 or 79
how, this is how the military needs to balance heavy and light forces. or in the '80s after he visited general galvin in central america. he writes to galvin that the only way to change in army is to change its doctrine. and i will do that someday. in fact, they had a small competition going between the two, and as brad eluded, this was taken general galvin was big m, and petraeus was little m anyone know what you're talking about. these letters that the exchange were very candid and i could sort trace the development of his thinking about the organization of the military, both grand strategy in u.s. foreign policy. not all of that made into the book. there's a lot that ended up on the cutting room floor, but that may be in my dissertation if i ever finish it. in any case i think we took some of the way tops included in the book. at various points you could see what he was thinking and imply
sure to afghanistan and see sort out it was playing out. in the summer of june 2010, when general mcchrystal in the rolling stone article rolled out, i remember sitting on a couch watching television and watching who could potentially replace them. i had friends from centcom calling saying do you think the trace will go? oh, no, they would never send him. his picture was a flashing of the but as with portrait chapter one of the book he already knew his name was probably an ad, even though and he was not not speculating about at the time. he received a call from mcchrystal right when the rolling stone article broke, and mcchrystal said is going to be bad and he was very sure that he was certain that he had received some five sheldon whitehouse he would probably lose his job. admiral mullen called the trace and said your name is not being speculated publicly but there's a pretty high probability that you'll be the one selected for
afghanistan. so if you have read the first chapters, papers, he gets into the white house. he is therefore a regularly scheduled meeting, but someone from the oval office comes out as the president wants to see you upstairs. as he's walking into the oval office, secretary gates and other senior leaders are walking out. he did not get eye contact. he knows he's about to get a new job. he was excited to serve. when the announcement was made in the rose garden, that's what i thought i have a neat opportunity to frame my dissertation within a larger framework of a story of how this plays out in iraq. i was thinking of tom ricks book picks up went to work to find a writing partner and found an extraordinary mentor and friend and writing coach and partner in vernon loeb. one thing, vernon is a huge run. is run 55 marathons. so if you think the trace is good, check out my partner.
in any case, the challenge, i had written anything like this. i hadn't even finished my dissertation. i had attention deficit disorders. it's hard to sit and write something like this. having someone who is seasoned and accomplished was real helpful for designing the arc of in their narrative to find wood to fit in these biographical decorations emulate into the front the story. i'm sure you're awfully with one of the trace his sayings, it was like building an aircraft while in flight while getting shot at literally. because we did know which characters would develop if we didn't have the war would turn out. how with the search impact operations there and so forth. there was a pretty high tempo forced to keep up with events on the ground, report them come right in and then meet a deadline. i apply for visa and showed up in afghanistan, and i sent general petraeus a no. he'd been helping me with my
dissertation, here's this benign doctoral student who nobody's going to read her dissertation, not a big deal. i think he did realize i was turning into a book until about my fourth visit or so. when i sent in enough from pakistan border showing my odd sense of venture. general petraeus, where having a blast out here. we just got shot at. and he wrote back, i was with general campbell, my boss at the time, the 101st airborne division commander but i think he realized been my point is i was out fishing hardship with the troops, or at least accepting some wrist to get the story, to get the scoop. scoop. so we can said to his staff was try to accommodate her more. so i spent about almost four months on the ground, but in three-week doses at a time. it was helpful to do that to see if things were changing, to get out of the environment, see how the war was being recorded in the states in europe and go back and get the story. as brad eluded, i spent time in
bed with infantry troops and other troops on the ground, special forces at the afghan local police side, traveling around with different general officers who were heading to the village. but most of my time was spent traveling around with general petraeus. to security, senior afghans and sitting in on meetings with them in kabul itself, to the extent i could. we didn't get any biographical discretion discretion in every chapter, and as brad also mentioned earlier what i really tried to show and appalled for my dissertation with the variables. i've described this as a social numbers, but primarily as mentors. there are four key mentors to the first was general bolden was a superintendent at west point
and his daughter david petraeus married and holly has been a wonderful source of information as well. the second key mentor was a colonel this rather unheard of. but he was a member of the ranger regiment, and he started competing up to start the joint special operations community concept but before that had been involved in the iran hostage rescue. so they shot the young david petraeus is thinking about special forces and special operations and that whole community which i think not a lot of people knows he has that background or interest in. albeit a sort of academic interest. he wasn't in the community. the third key mentor and the most influential mentor is general jack galvin. he was assigned with general galvin several times but their correspondence is the richest and for sure there's a closeness today. he not only earned military
history and leadership and management, but they both had this passion for small wars, low intensity conflict. in the book you will see how galvin influences him. is thinking about this in particular by inviting him down to central america to panama, which is what the southern command was headquartered at the time. there are six insurgencies going on, and petraeus flies around with galvin, and most young officers in fear or anyone has been to iraq or afghanistan, mike peters and doug spears have really only know this type of or. but for a young david petraeus whippany peacetime army after vietnam it was quite an eye-opening expense for him to walk up to the middle group commanders own in el salvador and beheaded a machine gun as he walked to his room and has to defend himself if he writes all the a letter and is blown away by. he realizes this type of warfare it is important to pay attention to and so forth.
the fourth mentor we all know and he's here in washington, general jack keane. david petraeus first met jack keane when his working for general carl, the chief of staff of the army at the time. and keane had been commissioned, training center that focuses on low intensity conflict, or this type of insurgency warfare but it was unconventional at the time because we were really looking at large-scale, the goal for a just ended so that kind of warfare was not really welcomed or looked highly upon. they need someone with a huge personality like jack's teen, to use his forces personnel he and so it would take petraeus to the jrtc to check on how things were going. and keane ago patricia lindsay what does the boss really thing. he was able to get some insight from petraeus and petraeus spoke candidly to him and had this
instant reporter jack keane called it a visceral sort of report and everyone knows the story of david petraeus getting shot. and, of course, jack keane was there with him when it happened. that's what solidified their friendship and relationship. and then they worked together for several deployments after that. okay, so "the social network" including the mentors was a victory but the second thing was just a look at his education. obviously, i could sort of look -- they had a different curriculum back in but is able to get access to the records that his class pride of the core of 74 study and look at what conflicts they were studying and so forth, there was a low intensity conflict or insurgency course but there was an elected but he never took a. that was an interesting little find. i also traces military education and his experience at princeton which was read one of his most formative experiences.
one reason why it encourages young people to try to have an out of their intellectual comfort zone experience because it broadened his horizons beyond what the military had been indoctrinated. i say that tongue in cheek. it was his education, and the third thing was his experiences. not only the typical military experiences of an infantry officer but his experience in haiti, which was a nationbuilding exercise, which is where he had his first rule of law develop and. what he got ideas that he took four to one and first airborne division on some of the rule of law initiatives that had there. we look at his experience in bosnia where he was greatly exposed to the intelligence community and special operations command after the mission their switch from one of hunting war criminals to hunting terrorists. he was there just when 9/11 happened and they stood up a joint interagency counterterrorism task force.
he helped to spearhead this and you go out on these night raids with the green beret and the special ops communities, the rangers and delta force guys and the green beret special force. this is the first time those two communities have the same mission. so this was important for his development as a future commander in iraq to understand how to use those teams, if you were. he was out of there in a baseball cap and after the guys would go in and knock on the doors for the war criminals, he fancied himself a need to share and go in and deliver letters to the war criminals who turn themselves in. we don't go into too much depth in the book, in his oral history interview which i collected, this was really kind of transformation period for him. not only working with intelligence and official ops community, and special mission units, but also working on the multi-year roadmap.
so basically a comprehensive plan with inner agency, international joint combined everything, all of these players where he made a lot of contracts countrcontacts.so we let you ale experiences and then we try to show how some of this plays out in iraq. there's another heavy emphasis on iraq in this book because i felt and burn felt that those expenses were pretty well covered with him for him and the other great books. but the real story is how all of this education has played out and plays out in afghanistan. the war in afghanistan, i don't think the book paints a rosy picture for how the war is going.
what he said on his way out of kabul when we thought that it is he regretted having to leave system. he wanted to stay through another fighting season, and yet he recognized the great opportunity hit going to the agency. they needed to get someone at the agency because, i don't know if you remember the threats that were looming around 9/11 taipei but the president wanted him to be in place. he looks back and when he talks about what his grants, if he could have some, in afghanistan, it was that he started talking about night raids and counterterrorism. frankly, speaking, that was the only area that was really showing progress when he first got the the surge forces were not in place yet, and so there wasn't quite the momentum in the clearing operations in the south and southwest that we can see now. in some areas the insurgent attacks are down by 30% in helmand, for example. and others like rc east they are up by 19%. he regrets having claimed that counterterrorism and night raids and so forth were workers the
war was heading to the discussion we're at today i guess is an extension of that. he also wishes he could've focused earlier on preventing civilian casualties to a u.n. report came out today that talks about this is the fifth year in a row where civilian casualties in afghanistan have risen. and while u.s. or isaf cause casualties are decreasing, insurgency caused civilian casualties are on the rise. so how does that translate into how our campaign is working? do you want to say a few remarks about? what i'd like to do so put it and let vernon have a few remarks to say to questions. [inaudible] >> i'm happy to answer questions. >> all right. do we have any questions? please but i guess you should use the microphone.
>> in your book, it was mentioned that petraeus wanted to be the chairman of joint chiefs of staff, but he was told that no way he would be to join chairman. could you tell us why you couldn't become joint chiefs of staff chairman if he was this good? >> that's a great question, i get at every stop. he was not considered for the position, as we wrote in the book, in part it was because the rumor has it, or the sources which i had which are secondhand, that washington is only big enough for one superstar, and david petraeus is not it. and so i think the thought was that he would not be valuable as
chairman. and with the tough budget cuts that lie ahead for the department of defense and the restructuring and thinking about how we're going to fight the next war, planning for the next were on the horizon, i think about was having him in that position, he would serve as sort of, he would stymie the white house's objectives. on the other hand, as you know, he was interested in the cia position, and i think it's the best possible position for him. we really showing about how he is been a voracious consumer of intelligence. he has worked with 16 different agencies for quite a while, as consumer of intelligence and intelligence drives operations. he's very interested in what he can provide. he understands what needs to be provided to the community. maybe it's a blessing in disguise. i think the bottom line is he's almost too good for them to handle.
trying to be diplomatic. >> michael hastings actually torpedoed mcchrystal. the pentagon makes the puritans of old america look like greenwich village and bohemians, but the scent of mcchrystal was in insubordination, but it was in discretion and fraternization. somebody in the military is not supposed to be buddy-buddy with an inferior, and he was, is a soldier's soldier. what you have not touched upon is really, or at least done so in passing, and very scantily, is the problem of corruption in governance in all levels in the middle east. proper security, and that involves the killers, the fanatic killers, the religious
killers, the revenge killers, and the thug killers and how you deal with that. all it takes is one shirt to create havoc in a community. and in the third thing in the middle east, at least in afghanistan, our drugs and how you deal effectively with it. so all those things play a role. and then unfortunately in the military, it is reported term and who gets promoted. and that is sometimes less to do with ability but who likes you. >> so is there one question there? >> actually putting substance to the makings of david petraeus. >> those are all good questions and thoughts. to pontificate. i will talk a little bit about the rule of law, this is one initiative that brigadier general mark martin was responsible for in iraq and helping to galvanize in afghanistan. if you read the book, we can trace some of his efforts there to show how difficult it is.
frankly, it does involve it said it will take a generation to change the culture there and to teach them our ways. and then the question is, is a right to teach him our ways? but when you look at the competition with the taliban and sharia law, and their settling disputes whether it is by cutting some fans off for students and their seven dispute, and ago in afghanistan can't do. we have to start somewhere. mark martin's stood up this rule of law field force and they went out to each of basically down to the district level, correct? to set up the train teams that would teach the district level afghan officials how to do speedy justice or some kind of justice. the system is totally arche. they are taking notes with pen and paper. they don't have a computer system to share files on. at a local level. it's getting better but there's a long way to go. one positive step they have made is this biometrics system.
think about two years ago we started scanning any afghan employee in the afghan insurgent or any insurgent for that matter so we could track them if they're coming into the system again. recidivism and so forth. a rule of law and failing states is one of the most complex challenges we will face anywhere we tried to do nationbuilding. >> the rule of the law there is not habeas corpus but habeas corpus. and unfortunate all it takes is one jerk or a few jerks to create havoc in any community. >> thanks for your question. >> congratulations on the book. can't wait to read it. excited. greg mortenson got a lot of credit at one time for some really innovative ways of building the country and building it up, what is it, "three cups of tea" author. and i heard he was widely read
over there by the officers. and then he has kind of come under a cloud of something about fundraising and stuff, but nevertheless, there's a huge upsurge in education, elementary schools, all of that over in afghanistan. so does he get a lot of credit for that? did he have a role in inspiring that? >> well, sure. it's important for young officers, young troopers to see what kind of difference counterinsurgency, especially the nonkinetic activities can and. and i think it was required reading at some levels. but i don't know that he is necessarily galvanize a change. when you look at what we have learned from iraq in earlier years in afghanistan, those kind of engagement, civil society can help. but the question is how much does it help. and as a matter of our national security, right?
if these kids can go to school or women have greater rights, that's wonderful. i'm a women's rights activist, but does that matter for u.s. national security? that's what you have to ask at the end of the day. >> i'm interested in the art form. i wonder if your co-author could say a little about how together you planned and executed this book? >> yet, that is an art form. i did the drywall and paula did all the hard work. paula would go to afghanistan, and we were reporting often about a month behind real-time. you know, she would unleash this firehose of information on the, and i would start basically just sort of rough out the chapters. we had a front story which was, turned out to be his year in
command, a year. it also turned out to be his last command. so we had the sort of blessing of a national front story, which we digressed off. so following that, you know, i would basically without the chapters and then it became an art, sort of a matter of passing back and forth where i would produce a very rough draft, pass it to paul and she would refine it, add information that i didn't have or hadn't seen, and go back and forth until a rough draft emerged and became more collaborative when the editors at penguin and editor got involved. and the whole book was produced quite fast the economy, and it was published on january 24 and the last event in the book is petraeus being sworn in by biden, september 6. so that is six months. lag time. that's about as fast as you can produce a book. it was fun.
you have to have a good relationship and a good partner, and trust between the partners. and i think, i'm an editor now. i used to be a reporter and i find it's a combination of writing and editing from my vantage point. >> did you both deal with the editor at the puncture? >> yeah. >> thanks a lot. that's interesting. >> one of my favorite parts of the book is, patricia sort of the dominant character, we had great access to him, a lot of it is told from his point of view but we establish a group of secondary characters, three of them were lieutenant commanders who are commanding combat battalions, so we tell the story of their war. one fought around kandahar. one was fighting in the mountains in each in afghanistan and one the sort of in the rolling hills of ghazni province. they all intersect with petraeus at some point in the year, and then the fourth secondary
character who is sitting right here, who was -- [inaudible] >> so we are one of the lieutenant colonels here who was the generals aid i think first in bosnia. and then he was petraeus is a during the invasion of iraq in 2003. so here he was back in afghanistan come in a combat battalion, and it was the first time, the sort of fun part of the book is petraeus has a special relationship with the 101st. it was his first combat command. so during this, his last command, it just so happened that the entire 101st was in afghanistan, deployed together for the first time since 2003. again, david is one of the three combat leaders, battalion leaders we write about. and it's cool easier and doug
was the senior civilian adviser to the command of the 101st in eastern afghanistan. and doug was also has a 10 special relationship with petraeus and doug was the planter of the surge in iraq and 2007 when he's with the first cavalry division. so it's great that they're here, and i think if you read the book, i think you'll enjoy that interplay between the dominant character petraeus and in the secondary characters, who are, you know, fought very, very different and very, very interesting and very, very tough battles throughout this year. it was really a brutal war. writing about them from my vantage point, from afar, was really interesting and really inspiring to me, to see the kind of life, being a nonmilitary
person, seeing the kind of dedication and devotion. and the way they carry to this day from the people that lost. >> two questions if i could. not having read the book yet, i'm wondering whether you cover the political attack on the general as is exemplified by the general betray us. and the other was can you speak about your experience at west point? [laughter] we do touch on the general trend six ad, to those who haven't read the book or any other, no the other histories, some moveon.org took out an add on to david general petraeus was testifying in september 2007 and there was a question about the veracity of the statistics he was using to report progress in the war. and so this ad was meant to
question whether it was petraeus or betray us, as if he was misleading the press. one of the most hurtful things he ever experienced to have that, and another thing we tried to show in the war was, the burden of command and important is for some of the level two always keep that mask on to give the troops obey but at the end the day he was human and it's tough for the troops to be questioned at that point in time. okay. the kinetic experience, i could talk for hours about the others, a lot of grads in your. in hindsight is wonderful. i would do it again in a heartbeat. i kept a journal, the four years i was there, and i had a chance to look through those about three months ago and i think i didn't have that great of an experienced. [laughter] it pretty much sucked. and i would add, especially as a woman, it's hard for everyone. but now i remember it, fond
memories and i'm so proud to be part of the great online. it was the most formative thing that ever happened to me, the most important thing was to embrace the concept of duty, honor, country. i think we sure this new greatest generation of young leaders are doing that as well. i can do lots of stories about west point but i will stop there. >> thank you for taking time today. i have a two-part question but i'll be quick. the first is regarding the of the force of nature, ambassador richard holbrooke unfortunately lost and relationship between general petraeus and him, and he was whose wingmen. that term has been using giveaways but it didn't to think you're petraeus is the more. the second question is how did the afghans find general petraeus, and nonetheless have question is, among his many great strengths, what are some of his actual weaknesses? thank you. >> thank you, good questions. bruce wireless at the brookings
institute brands president obama's, one of his afghan reviews, and is working closely with holbrooke with petraeus and clinton. to succinctly answer your question he would say, that petraeus was anybody on the team knew he was the de facto leader but it was important of holbrooke as a face. i mean, think of the knowledge he had and the expense, the network. so even holbrooke acknowledged that to bruce riedel, as my source to your second question was -- the afghans. so, you know, the interesting thing to juxtapose is david petraeus experience in iraq where they call them -- king david. maybe he gave himself that name, i don't know. he has a drone up there, oh, no. [laughter] but he is very well respected in iraq. they name streets after them but i can't take a number of e-mails i see from iraq, they would give
up their children, to thank him for what he did for the conjugate afghans not so much. this country with a much more complex terrain, insurgency, much more complex insurgency. he had visited they certainly did not have the depth of knowledge, the networks, knowledge not only of the terrain but the enemy, of the architecture there that he would have to work with, of blue forces if you will and green forces. so i think he felt he had to prove himself. and this is just policy judgment. a lot of people thought he talked about iraq all the time, and they're thinking maybe these people with years of afghanistan is thinking this is not iraq. but in his mind at the end of the day there still are many principles and lessons. no, it's not transferable, you can't take what we did there and do it here.
i think he never really gained the report that mcchrystal had with karzai, and the afghan ministers respected him, but it certainly wasn't the same level of respect he had with the iraqi government. and the third question, i should be writing them down. some of his weaknesses. he is such a driven individual. i think i can be a strength, too. obviously, he challenges that drive in addition to serve the conjugate i think he is ego is in line with that but it's not egotistical, egocentric, if that makes sense. and really, he presses duty honor country about his family. so i'll most consider that a strength is in the weakness. as a working mother and wife, it's hard to find balance but he's pretty clear and holly is pretty clear that she support him and yet they have this wonderful marriage and very
established children. of the weaknesses, i think, i like to kind of teasing that he doesn't really come like i call him mono directional. not multifaceted. that's a joke. is extremely well read. he reads a book a week. now using to spy novels. kind of funny. but he doesn't like to do anything besides run into pt and read and work. and go out to dinner with holly. i don't know if that's a weakness but if you like you could have more balance in order to relax but at the end of it all comes down to this voice in his head saying results, boy. results, boy. is dead, chapter two, his father was very tough on them. we don't into the very much in the book but his father had really high standards, and david petraeus could never please and. so he was driven to always do
better, to always deliver results. whether it was winning a newspaper delivery contest in school, playing on the soccer team and the ski team. he was just always driven to please his father. probably all of us can relate to that in some sense. >> i understand you're donating a portion of your proceeds to an organization that supports what it was but hoping to tell us about that organization and how you chose to support them? >> love to, thank you. the group is called team red, white and blue, and was founded by a west pointer named mike irwin, a major now at west point. mike was an intelligence officer but he served as a special operations community and had several tours in afghanistan. afghanistan. microstar district to try to help wounded warriors find their new normal through physical fitness. a number of studies of show that doing fitness helps to allay depression and suicidal
tendencies and so forth in full. the other day was to get wounded warriors something to belong to that they lost when they left the military. and anyone who has ever served, you know a family of military becomes. but it becomes even more so when you fought together and died or lost limbs or lost friends joined. and toulouse that i come back to the u.s. and not be able to discuss it with family because they can't relate or you feel shameful, our wounded warriors that have invisible when such as post-traumatic stress disorder don't get a purple heart, and i feel we are not recognizing that we have an epidemic right now in our bedroom community. 472000 veterans from iraq and afghanistan have debilitating levels of post-traumatic stress disorder. this number is the number that come forward to the va. you can imagine their tens of thousands more that are afraid to admit it because you get a stigma. traumatic brain injury is another invisible wound, if you
are am working with the uso. in fact, making a video tomorrow to again call on americans to go all in for our troops. that doesn't mean just donating money. want to hope this group embraces is that you will find ways to get active, too, and to mentor some of these wounded warriors. if you can't run a race with them, maybe you can help online, raising awareness, posting on facebook, whatever. in whatever way you can, at least welcome our wounded warriors back and try to reach out to them. and give him thanks for they sacrificed for us. >> i'd like to go back to the afghanistan matter of having served their in the embassy before the surge, i wondered about the application of the iraq surge, a major part of the iraq ideas was buying off local leaders. well, we've been buying off warlords in afghanistan for
ever, and the taliban have access to unlimited resources for the drug trade. did petraeus really feel that the surge idea could just be plucked up from iraq and put down in afghanistan and be successful? >> now i think nobody is presuming success in either country for that matter. i mean, really what the search is meant to do in both countries is to create a time and space so that the local host nation, national security forces could benefit themselves. you have to deal with -- i'm not going to get a power point out here for you guys unless you really want it, but it's not just the security solution. there's obviously the rule of law we're talking about, there's international relations. you have to get a lot of partners, 49 coalition members to agree on a mission, on the stated objectives and the withdrawal plans. you have to find u.s. capability
to deal with counter drug operations, should we handle that or britain? or should we just get money. you can imagine the complex discussions that go on trying to decide who will do what. i don't think he thinks there's any easy solution in either country. especially if we have a precipitous withdrawal in afghanistan. what we've given to iraqis now is a chance, in fact, gave malik he a picture of george washington about two months ago. he was in iraq visiting. a symbolism that this is your chance. it is your chance for iraq to start a new beginning or what. so nobody knows how either of these wars are going to in. -- going to end. spent how many questions do we have? >> we have five more minutes. one for you. you can have one and three
quarters. >> i will limit it into the caa situations. how months of presidents interest in going somewhere was political to get them out of the way? you know what i'm talking about. the other one is part of the question, part to conserve. but you mentioned that the trace was a great consumer of intelligence, but on the other hand, it appears to me he was just a newspaper reader that there is a militarization of cia going on, that's the core underneath my question. and that he was selected in part because of his special operations background, and his use of all those kind of devices, in order to move this process within the caa further than it has been in the past, which is i think should be of some concern. so if you could comment on that i would appreciate it.
>> he doesn't talk too much about the direction agency is going now, but if you look at open first reporting since he is coming to the agency, the number of months he's been there, five months he has been there, there have been more drone strikes in the five months then undersecretary panetta. but they have been more effective, too. they've taken out seven of the top 20 al qaeda. now we're seeing al qaeda, their op sec has a process on the strikes, numbers, strikes have gone down lately. but i don't know how to read into that. does that necessary mean we're increasing that paramilitaries nation of the agency? i do think that president obama, let me step back. petraeus suggested as we write in the book, and gates embraced in november-december.
didn't talk to obama about since jenny. the first time obama and petraeus talk about the position is in march. the president really had been just mulling it over. i never got the sense from him, from the president, from petraeus or anyone on the national security council that the thought was let's put him there to militarize the agency. but petraeus' thinking, look at we're trying to look at the defense department is shying away from its large-scale boots on the ground type operation. and the secretary gates said, the next leader who decides to commit to one of these operations should have their head examined. i think that's in all of our heads right now. we want to avoid any such large-scale operation. so petraeus is thinking, as he goes to the agency, that's the kind of future of warfare. so i would be speculating if i guess that the president had an intention of really turning the agency into an oss again. but they're keeping up there
drone attacks and they have shown some effectiveness. obviously, they are precision strikes. they have less or lower collateral damage. that's really important. we don't want to create more enemies by collateral damage. i guess we'll have to wait and see. the challenge is, you know, the transparency there, and we don't really have a lot of information on what they are achieving. spent congratulations on your book again. my question is about the personal relationships you highlight, specifically with eikenberry, karzai and general petraeus. you mentioned that there was a lack of conducive working relationship between karzai and eikenberry. so general petraeus did make the executive decision to kind of do one on one meetings without karzai. you also mentioned that petraeus' stress on the importance of the civilian osha partnership.
i'm wondering about your reflections as to how that came into play. was that the right call? the overall picture of that. >> i think one of the things he learned in his education in iraq was just how critical it is to have unity of effort with the civilian side. because you can't kill your way out of an insurgency. it needs to be a comprehensive civil military plan that ideally a whole of government effort. the surge of security forces arrived in afghanistan but we never did see a surge of civilian forces. i think that was pretty frustrating to him, but he found innovative ways to work around it. one of the ways i would like to frame the book is really its a study in strategic leadership to how do you get it done when you have a troop cap? if you want at this afghan local place initiative but you only have so many special forces officers, how can you be integrated and augmented? he brought in infantry forces to
augment the special forces. that is really typical. i think in his dealings with karzai he just realized that anytime he brought eikenberry, karzai would be, they carry all. almost irrational. suite did stop bring him. petraeus maintain a good relationship with eikenberry. they were not best friends. when you speak to the staff, you understand there's a little bit of tension and so forth. i didn't really write about this in the book, except to say that when petraeus left the rose garden that they he found that he was taking the job, he was writing notes, and one of the first people i want to call after hollywood ryan crocker from his former partner in iraq. and he did call crocker and crocker was interested in joining him. and so they made a lot of calls to the white house and around
washington to try to get crocker the right way to have this dynamic duo who had worked so well together. and hobbies he crocker didn't get there until a year later, but you wondered we did have made a difference. i don't know. no more questions? spent because were in politics and prose i have to ask about future possibilities. do you think there's any role in politics, as general petraeus as time goes on? >> did you watch "the daily show" a week and a half ago? [laughter] [inaudible] >> on record i was on the jon stewart daily show a week and a half ago, and i will borrow my binder, but jon stewart asked the same question. i said well, my husband says i should is going to run for office because it would sell more books. but i can't. i can't tell a lie. know, he's not interested in running for office. as sort of a mentor of mine, i've mentioned my interest and
potentially running for office, he says politics crops absolutely, we've seen some of these individuals, some of these are his collegial friend, if you will. the traits and egos, they will stab them in the back in an instant to advance their political agenda. and he takes it personally and he doesn't want to. he also said if you would run for office he would have to yield on its principles to win the primaries, you know, to when the peripheral voters. i don't think so. i think he is electable by either party, fun. i think people admire he is a valued individual. some of the mantras he subscribes to be the first with troops, leave your values but a lot of people can relate to that, the ideal of serving something greater for yourself. i don't think it's going to happen. he has said he would lead to stay in this job for four years, eight years, as long as the
administration would keep them. it's funny because he's like a teenager come a so excited about the agency. recognizing the quality of people that are after dealing with, you have dubbed whose brains and brawn, but the military is a lot of bronze and now he has these intellectuals. at heart he is really a professor. one thing he thought about doing after he retires is becoming a president of princeton. he really loves academia, ce is enjoying what he is at now. >> thank you very much. >> thanks everyone for coming. this was very exciting and an honor. [applause] >> to be at the most prestigious bookstore in washington. i hope you all support brad and keep this bookstore thriving. and also, again, just another shout out to those who have served and deserve and for our wounded warriors. thanks again for coming. [applause] >> you can watch this and other programs on line at booktv.org